Today’s Worship Walk: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I seem to be meditating a lot on God’s comfort lately. Maybe that’s because my rheumatoid arthritis has been flaring up a lot. And I’ve come to learn that there can be a big difference for me between living with RA and living well with RA. Part of that difference is letting God in to take care of me as only He can.

But this passage goes further than that to describe a sort of “comfort cycle.”  (that sounds like a dryer setting, doesn’t it??) Think about it, though. The Apostle Paul teaches us here to praise God for the blessing of His comfort. Then, when we’ve been helped and encouraged, we are to extend comfort to those around us who need it.

Best of all, the comfort we give isn’t out of our own reserves. While God continues to provide for us, He wants to work through us to impact others by His strength, not ours.

Lots of people need a comforting touch these days. Are you one of them? I am! And when I receive his peace, I also find myself wanting to share the goodness with others. What a loving God we have!

Click here for more info about Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

 

 

Today’s Worship Walk: Matthew 5:14-15

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You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hiddenNeither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowlInstead they put it on its standand it gives light to everyone in the house.”

Matthew 5:14-15

I know lots of people who ask questions like, “What is my life purpose?” or, “What is God’s plan for my life?” Very good questions – I’ve asked them myself. But to be honest, most of those times I was hoping God would give me something big and important to do. More plainly, something wanted to do.

The answer to those kind of questions is strikingly simple, but not always easy to accept. Scripture tells us time and time again that, as the Westminster Assembly wrote, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

That’s a pretty general statement, I know, and that used to bother me. But again, I was looking for a specific event to lead. What God calls us to is a continuous lifestyle of worship. That means every day can be filled with moments of lifting God up through all sorts of thoughts and actions.

I’ve learned that in God’s plan, nothing is small or unimportant if we use it as a way to praise. And if we see glorifying Him as our purpose, our lives will take on a greater meaning than we could ever come up with ourselves.

 

Click here for more info about Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

 

Today’s Worship Walk: Romans 8:6

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The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…”

Romans 8:6

The sermon my Pastor gave yesterday was about God using trials to bring us closer to Him. The message stayed with me, especially when joint pain woke me up at around 2 am. As I lay there, starting to tense up with discomfort and frustration, I had to admit my thoughts weren’t directed toward thanking God for an opportunity to draw near in that moment – I just wanted to feel better.

I realized this morning that reaction is my default, more often than not. When something happens that I don’t want to deal with, I tend to either want to take control of the situation myself or worry about it. I end up being pulled away from God-centered and toward me-centered thinking, and losing my peace.

This verse from Romans came to mind this morning as a caution about keeping my mindset right. One middle-of-the-night episode might not seem like a big thing. But the Apostle Paul shows us where a pattern of wrong choices in our thinking can lead. I’m grateful for the reminder – we need them in our daily walk.

 

Click here for more info on Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

 

 

 

Christian Quotes: Hudson Taylor

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I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking God to do His work through me.”

Hudson Taylor

 

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

Philippians 2:12-13

Today’s Worship Walk: Matthew 6:19-21

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Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earthwhere moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heavenwhere neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure isthere your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

As I’ve been getting ready to move, and definitely downsizing, I’ve had to do a lot of purging throughout our house. It’s been physically and emotionally challenging for me. So I searched out a Bible study to ease my way, and found a great one.

It’s called “More of Less: A Guide To Less Stuff And More Joy.” The writer faces the problem of holding onto our things head-on in a gentle yet firm way. The main point is that while it’s fine to own things (God promises to give us good things, after all), we can fall into the trap of assuming we need lots of stuff to be happy.

I could see evidence of that as I sifted through every room of our former house. I realized I was clinging to things that didn’t really matter equally as hard as things that did. I had I fused each object with significance so that even the smallest seemed heartbreaking, even impossible to let go of.

The process of making decisions about what to keep became more practical as time went on – “Where will we put this?”. But my emotions still flared up from time, and that’s where the Bible study and verses like this one from Matthew gave me a better perspective. When it came down to it, I admitted that most of the items were representations of a season in my life, not necessary for our next home. 

I’ve kept the items that truly blessed me when I see or use them. And as I’ve let go of the other things, my thoughts have been turning toward God. I can see how faithful He’s been to provide, materially but even more so spiritually, through the years. I have a glimpse now of living with less stuff and yet feeling richer with what really matters.

 

Click here for more info about Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

 

Today’s Worship Walk: Esther 4:14

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For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

 

Speaking up, weather for yourself or for someone you care about, can be intimidating. Now, imagine yourself put in a position where you are pleading on behalf of a whole nation. Imagine facing the King, knowing that even making a request could cost you your life. This is where Esther found herself as a young queen.

Because of a decree, the Jews faced possible extermination. Esther stood between her people and their destruction – what a responsibility on her shoulders!

Luckily, Esther knew she wasn’t alone in this challenging place. She wisely asked her people to pray for God’s deliverance through this situation. She herself fasted in the days leading up to her visit to the King. In response, she received strength and wisdom for the moment.

When we are in a position to speak up, it’s easy to let fear hold us back. But the Holy Spirit who lives in us believers will give us the voice, even the words to speak, when we need them. But like Esther, we need to lift up our prayers before opening our mouths.

Click here for more info about Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

Today’s Worship Walk: Job 12:10

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In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Job 12:10

There are many truths about God that I don’t understand. And that’s as it should be. But sometimes I start to ponder on the ideas that seem confusing, and ask questions that I probably won’t ever get answers to.

I used to get very frustrated by verses like this, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around them. How does God keep track of everything He created? That would inevitably lead me to ask: Why would He want to keep track of me?

The more I’ve learned about God, the less I ask these kinds of questions. When my thoughts run toward trying to figure God out (as if I could!), I remind myself that I don’t have to know everything. I have to trust the One who does. The One who created me, and continues to sustain me.

 

Click here for more info about Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

Today’s Worship Walk: Psalms

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Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Psalm 51:10-12

I don’t know where you’re energy level is at right now, but mine is awfully low. So this verse speaks to me in a very real way. I need a time of refreshing – can you relate?

One thing I’ve learned about rest, though, is that we’re not meant to do it alone, but with God. He is the only source of true rest in our lives. Not only does He lead us to slow down or even stop our busy lives, but He wants to restore our strength and renew our hearts and minds.

I have been learning that when I feel the weakest, I have an amazing opportunity to be ministered to by my Heavenly Father. But before all that can happen, I have to submit to His process.

 

Click here for more info about Heather and Worship Walk Ministries.

Christian Quotes: A. W. Tozer

 

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“I’m not afraid of the devil. The devil can handle me – he’s got judo I never heard of. But he can’t handle the One to whom I’m joined; he can’t handle the One to whom I’m united; he can’t handle the One whose nature dwells in my nature.”

A. W. Tozer

 

“…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

1 John 5:4